Bethesda has sparked outrage after announcing a £100 annual subscription or £12 monthly subscription for its online multiplayer game Fallout 76.
The controversial game released in October 2018 to poor reviews. Many users criticised the lack of non-playable characters (NPCs), the lack of story and plot as well as the stability of the online game which was reportedly filled with glitches and other problems.
Since its release, publisher Bethesda has attempted to improve the game by providing players with new quests and large events. The firm also announced the introduction of NPCs in the upcoming Wastelanders expansion which was due for a release this year but was delayed to early 2020.
After announcing the delay to the expansion, Bethesda further angered players by announcing the new subscription feature named Fallout 1st. In a blog post made this week, Bethesda revealed that the new subscription services provide players with access to private servers.
As part of the subscription, players will be given access to a private version of the in-game-world along with the ability to invite up to seven friends to join the world.
What’s more, subscribers will get additional benefits including a survival tent which players can use for fast-travel, additional emotes and outfits for players and a scrapbox which allows for unlimited storage. Subscribers will also receive a monthly pack of 1,650 Atoms, the in-game currency which is used for microtransactions.
In the blog post announcing the subscription service, Bethesda described it as “a premium membership that offers something players have been asking for since before launch”. And despite the outrage the announcement has sparked, the publisher insists that it’s listening to player requests: “As with everything we dor for Fallout 76, we will continue to listen to feedback and improve the service over the months and years to come”.
Bethesda’s Fallout 76 Controversy
In addition to the newly announced subscription service and the game’s somewhat buggy launch, Fallout 76 was plagued with further controversies, particularly around its release last year.
A special Fallout 76 Power Armour special edition version of the game could be bought at its release. This edition included a canvas duffel bag as well as a full-scale wearable T-51 Power Armour helmet. However, the bag issued was nylon rather than canvas.
This sparked a string of complaints to which Bethesda responded by claiming that it had been changed to the unavailability of materials. Bethesda then offered 500 Atoms to all players affected as compensation, although it was only equivalent to $0.50. It was later revealed that Bethesda had given a unique canvas bag to online influencers, enhancing the outrage.
In December 2018, just two months after the game’s release, a data breach occurred when a glitch in the publisher’s support system revealed information of over 60 customers who submitted support tickets over the canvas bag.
The new announcement has only added to player criticism and backlash surrounding the game and while Bethesda claims to listen to player feedback, many Fallout 76 customers continue to question just how much the publisher cares about the game and their opinions.
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